How to Become a Telecommunications Technician

How to Become a Telecommunications Technician: Career Path Guide

Although there are other paths to take, the most common way to become a telecommunications technician is to follow these essential steps:


1. Make sure you have the right personal traits for this profession

2. Check job postings to see what qualifications employers need you to have

3. Pursue a diploma or certificate in Telecommunications Technology

4. Get an entry-level job in in the field while you’re a student

5. Advance your career as you gain experience and finish your education 


Below we've expanded on these points to give you a good idea of what you'll need to become a telecommunications technician in the United States or Canada. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as what you’ll be doing, what you could earn, and a list of “Telecommunications Technician” job postings in your area!



What Education Will I Need?

There is no universal education requirement for becoming a telecommunications technician; it can vary quite a bit from region to region. However, entering this field usually requires the completion of a diploma or certificate relating to Telecommunications Technology and/or the completion of an apprenticeship.




What Is a Telecommunications Technician?

Telecommunications technicians set up and maintain devices or equipment that carry communications signals, connect to telephone lines, and access the Internet. They install, maintain and repair data transmission equipment, aerial lines, conduits, cables, radio antennae and telecommunications equipment and appliances. 



What Does a Telecommunications Technician Do?

Although their duties can vary, telecommunications engineers are generally responsible for the following:


• Examining drawings, specifications and work areas to determine positioning and connections for equipment to be installed

• Locating faults in telecommunications equipment using instruments such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, ammeters and transmission measuring equipment

• Attaching wires and cables to appliances

• Adjusting, replacing and repairing faulty items, and testing equipment using electronic instruments

• Installing cabling for telephone, radio, pay TV and Internet transmission

• Joining cables and sealing sheaths with lead and thermoplastic

• Erecting, testing and maintaining aerial and underground wires and cables, and radio and mobile phone antennae

• Installing telecommunications equipment and appliances such as telephones, switchboards and data transmission equipment



What is the Salary of a Telecommunications Technician?

Telecommunications technicians belong to the occupational group, “Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers”. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Americans working in this group is $54,570 per year.  


The salary one could earn in this profession varies by factors including amount of experience, region in which they work, and many others.



More About the Salary You Could Earn

As mentioned above, the salary you could earn as a telecommunications technician can vary based on many factors, including:


• Your level of education, experience and certification

• The level of responsibility involved in your job

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• The industry in which you work

• If you receive any medical, dental, vision, profit sharing, and/or retirement benefits

• Many other factors


Telecommunications Technician Salary - Alberta: According to the 2015 Alberta Wage & Salary Survey, the overall average salary level of Albertans working in the “Telecommunications installation and repair workers” occupational group is $62,809 per year, or $30.52 per hour.


Telecommunications Technician Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall average salary level of Americans working in the “Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers” occupational group is $54,570 per year.



Should I Become a Telecommunications Technician?

A career as a telecommunications technician might be an excellent match for you if you have the following characteristics, attributes and interests:


• You have mathematical and mechanical ability

• You can work and solve problems independently

• You have good colour vision, manual dexterity and hand-eye co-ordination

• You’re able to climb poles and ladders while carrying tools and equipment  

• You’re willing and interested in keeping up to date with changes in technology

• You operate with courtesy and tact when in customers' homes and businesses

• You enjoy operating tools and test equipment and diagnosing technical problems



What Career Advancement Opportunities Are There?

If you display a good work ethic, and professional competence, you should have many opportunities to advance into positions of greater responsibility and pay, including supervisory and management positions, or even self-employment as a contractor. 


With additional education and/or training, you could also move into other areas of the telecommunications industry, such as telecommunications engineering or sales.



Who Creates Jobs?

Telecommunications technicians are employed by communication and cable companies that install, maintain, sell, rent or lease communications equipment, or install private communications systems. They are also employed as in-house employees of medium and large-organizations, and can be employed as teachers in educational institutions. 


The most common types of employers for telecommunications technicians include:


• Cable and satellite communication companies

• Wireless and fibre optic companies

• Public and private telecommunications companies

• Federal, provincial/state and municipal government departments and agencies 

• Colleges, universities and technical institutes

• Companies in the oil and gas industry

• Private contracting and consulting organizations

• Private consulting services



Telecommunications Technician Jobs - Actual Postings

Our job board below has "Telecommunications Technician" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

What is the Work Schedule Like?

Your work schedule could vary; you might work a typical 9-5 type schedule, or you might work shifts that include evenings, weekends and holidays. You may even be required to be on call 24-7 in order to provide a quick response to any technical emergencies that may arise.



What is the Work Environment Like?

Your work telecommunications technician could be highly autonomous; these professionals often work out of a centralized location, but have to travel alone to installation and repair sites, such as homes and offices. 


Equipment installation may require climbing on rooftops and into attics, and climbing ladders and telephone poles; it would involve occasionally working in cramped, awkward positions where you would often have to stoop, crouch, crawl, or reach high to do their work. 



What are Careers Similar to “Telecommunications Technician”?

Listed below are careers that may be in the same field, or they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and/or responsibilities as “Telecommunications Technician”: 


• Avionics Technician

• Broadcast Engineer

• Electrician 

• Information Systems Consultant

• IT Analyst

• Technical Sales Engineer

• Telecommunications Engineer



What Scholarships Are There for Aspiring Telecommunications Techs? 

The “Majors in Our Database Relevant for this Career” section below lists fields of study that are relevant to becoming a telecommunications technician. You can search for relevant scholarships by finding those majors on our  “Any Field of Study Scholarships” page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!




Please consult the following resources to learn more about what it takes to become a telecommunications technician:


• Occupational Profile: “Communication Technician.” (n.d.). Alberta Government - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved February 22, 2017.

• Occupational Profile: “Telecommunications Technologist.” (n.d.). Alberta Government - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved February 22, 2017.

• Occupational Outlook Handbook: “Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers.” (n.d.). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved February 22, 2017.

• Job Outlook: “Telecommunications Trades Workers.” (n.d.). JobActive - Australian Government. Retrieved February 22, 2017.

• IT & Telecommunications Jobs Database “Telecommunications Technician.” (January 25, 2017). Careers New Zealand. Retrieved February 22, 2017.



Majors in Our Database Relevant for this Career

We have career guides for over 60 university majors in our database. Below we've outlined those that are most relevant to becoming a telecommunications technician. Click on the links to see what else you can do with these majors!


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